Trade Lanes

Trade Lanes

In-depth news and analysis of the world's major shipping trade lanes including the trans-Atlantic, trans-Pacific, Asia-Europe and more.

Several variables can affect a trade lane's popularity — including its inclusion/discontinuance by an ocean carrier. The container line landscape is constantly evolving as market dynamics present new challenges to the industry. 



Negotiations for 2019-2020 shipping contracts will be difficult on a number of fronts.

News & Analysis

20 Sep 2019
With holiday season imports unable to gain traction and spot rates declining for the third consecutive week, peak-season 2019 will be defined by blanked sailings rather than surging cargo volumes.
13 Sep 2019
The larger container ships global carriers are starting to deploy in intra-Asia trades are putting pressure on specialist feeder lines already dealing with bad weather, port congestion, and shifting trade patterns.
10 Sep 2019
Retailers prepare for a projected 8.8 percent increase in imports in November as they ship early to get ahead of 15 percent tariffs scheduled to take effect Dec. 15 on remaining merchandise from China not already under tariff.
10 Sep 2019
The government of Panama has approved reduced toll rates for container ships transiting the Panama Canal, mindful of the need to stay competitive with the Suez Canal and with carriers ready to see fuel costs jump due to the IMO 2020 low-sulfur mandate.
09 Sep 2019
India’s Concor takes another step to keep pace with the global push for one-stop logistics shopping.
06 Sep 2019
The failure of Sept. 1 general rate increase to hold may indicate that earlier predictions of a weak peak season were correct.
04 Sep 2019
For the second consecutive year, Maersk and MSC have withdrawn the AE2/Swan Asia-Europe service in a bid to match capacity with slack demand.
30 Aug 2019
This week’s double-digit surge in spot rates is more tariff-driven than anything else because there is little cargo rolling in Asia to generate a bidding war among BCOs for vessel space leaving Asia.
23 Aug 2019
China announced its own round of new tariffs, prompting President Donald Trump late Friday to raise US tariffs on Chinese imports and instruct US companies to begin looking for alternatives to doing business with Beijing.
Trans-Pacific westbound spot rate plunge set to deepen
22 Aug 2019
Spot rates in the westbound Pacific took a sizable drop this month due to declining US exports to Asia, which are resulting in especially low vessel utilization rates. The normal strong rebound, which should begin in November, could be muted as a result.
13 Aug 2019
Imports from China were down 2 percent in July and 4.4 percent below the same period seven-month period in 2018.
12 Aug 2019
An almost 20 percent plunge in US imports from Asia in July shows the devastating impact of the trade war with China; import declines could worsen this fall with new tariffs starting in weeks.
08 Aug 2019
Reversing course, Global Port Tracker is now projecting monthly year-over-year declines, or minimal increases, in US merchandise imports in the trans-Pacific during the peak season.
Container contract reliability efforts gaining traction
05 Aug 2019
No-shows, or “downfall” in industry jargon, have plagued the industry for decades, but carrier attention has risen in recent years as pressure to increase waste rises, and digitalization provides opportunities to streamline the booking process
Firming trans-Pac spot rates signal calmer peak
02 Aug 2019
Spot rates in the eastbound Pacific are starting to firm, but will not increase as dramatically as they did during the 2018 peak season because importers are taking tariff announcements in stride.
2M keeps Asia-Europe sailings while rivals cut
24 Jul 2019
The 2M Alliance is holding off on blanking sailings while rival alliances slash capacity through July and August in a bid to shore up slumping rates.
23 Jul 2019
A new Hapag-Lloyd-led service linking southeast India to North Europe is expected to reduce the volumes India loses to foreign transshipment options.
22 Jul 2019
Cosco had a 10.3 percent share of capacity on the east coast of South America-to-Far East route earlier this year, and has plans to grow that with extra loaders and bigger vessels through the remainder of 2019.
19 Jul 2019
Tactical use of blank sailings and extra-loaders will prop up freight rates while ensuring capacity during a peak season that will be marked by uncertainties because of the US-China trade war, a JOC webinar was told.
11 Jul 2019
With US import growth of only 1.4 percent from all of Asia in the first half of 2019, and a 5 percent decline in imports from China, the six blanked sailings announced for June and July could be followed by others if volume growth disappoints during the coming peak season.
01 Jul 2019
Vietnam has been steadily growing its trade with the EU, even before the two parties inked a free trade deal.
25 Jun 2019
Asia to East Coast South America rates are on the rise, despite capacity rising by almost 8 percent this year.
07 Jun 2019
The latest US sanctions on Venezuela, and political instability, are pushing up container shipping costs to the South American nation.
05 Jun 2019
Shippers, ocean carriers, and freight forwarders say cargo owners are already rushing shipments to get ahead of potential tariffs on $300 billion of US imports from China.
27 May 2019
Despite strong expected consumer demand, uncertainty over the outcome of the US-China trade talks could reduce growth in US electronics imports in 2019, after 5.2 percent growth in 2018.
21 May 2019
Container carriers have been altering stowage plans for neo-Panamax ships to mitigate the current draft limits, according to the Panama Canal Authority.
20 May 2019
Shallow Panama Canal draft limits have already pushed up spot rates from Asia to the East Coast, with the cost of moving an FEU up 14 percent year over year.
15 May 2019
Before May 5, when President Donald Trump announced that tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese imports would rise from 10 percent to 25 percent, carriers were relatively sanguine about 2019 and for good reasons.
06 May 2019
US President Donald Trump's decision to hike tariffs on a wide selection of Chinese-made goods took the US trade community by surprise.
01 May 2019
Post-consolidation, US container trade has been dominated by the largest ocean carriers and alliances, but smaller, independent lines continue to find a market in the trans-Pacific.
Turloch Mooney, senior editor, global ports, JOC
02 Apr 2019
Turloch Mooney, senior editor, global ports, JO
Greg Knowler, senior editor, JOC
28 Mar 2019
Greg Knowler, senior editor, JO